Educators See Teacher Burnout, Shortages, and 'Unfinished Learning' as Top Concerns
A national survey of educators and a survey of parents revealed the top concerns of both groups going into the 2023–2024 school year. Both cited "unfinished learning" from the 2021–2022 school year as one of their major issues.
Among educators (including administrators and classroom teachers), the No. 1 concern by far, however, was teacher burnout, with 73% saying they were concerned about that, according to the survey, conducted by ed tech firm Lexia. The No. 2 concern was teacher shortages, at 51%.
Parents were less concerned about those issues, with 27% citing teacher shortages and 20% citing teacher burnout as areas of concern. According to the survey, less than half (43%) strongly agreed that their kids' schools were doing a good job of making up for unfinished learning left over from 2021–2022, according to a separate survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Lexia.
Forty-five percent of educators cited unfinished learning as a top issue.
"Results from the 2022 NAEP and the 2023 NWEA assessments [with 69% of fourth graders and two-thirds of eighth graders reading below proficiency] reinforce the picture we've obtained from these two surveys,” said Lexia President Nick Gaehde in a prepared statement. "That means unfinished learning resulting from the 2020 pandemic is still a concern. In fact, it may have been exacerbated. Everyone’s looking for solutions, and although our surveys found that 47% of parents and 73% of Lexia's educators feel more one-on-one time for students with teachers would help students be at or above grade level during the 2023–2024 school year, the teacher shortage makes that solution unfeasible in many areas of the country."
Among educators, 69% of those who participated in the survey see ed tech as a potential solution. Interestingly, 88% parents who participated in the survey expressed confidence in educators' ability to use ed tech in the classroom.
Other findings from the survey included:
46% of educators cited professional development as a useful tool for retaining teachers.
55% of parents said their kids "put in extra time through tutors, extra classroom work, or summer school to fully make up for the unfinished learning from the previous school year," according to Lexia.
33% of parents said schools "could improve on investing in reading-specific technology resources to help students outside the classroom when thinking about their child's current reading and language abilities."
In terms of literacy software specifically, 76% or educators cited "personalization for each student" as a top feature. And 75% cited progress monitoring.
The Lexia poll also surveyed educators about ChatGPT. Among high school teachers (grades 9–12), 41% said they had concerns about ChatGPT. Only 19% of middle school teachers (grades 6–8) said they had concerns about the technology.
The survey of educators involved 862 teachers and administrators who use Lexia. It was conducted by a research team within Lexia between May and June of 2023. The parent survey was conducted by The Harris Poll in June 2023 among 877 U.S. parents of children attending school in the fall.